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Virus Surges Across U.S., Throwing Reopenings Into Disarray

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 6/23/2020 Margaret Newkirk and Jonathan Levin

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(Bloomberg) -- Newly diagnosed cases of Covid-19 and other indicators of the pandemic’s spread soared in hot spots across the U.S., driving city and state officials to consider slowing or reversing reopening plans.

Cases are surging in Texas, Florida, Arizona and in California, which on Tuesday broke its record for new cases for the fourth day in the past week. Even in New Jersey, where numbers have been falling, Governor Phil Murphy warned that the transmission rate is “beginning to creep up.”

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: People wearing protective masks wait to be seated at a restaurant on Pier 39 in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 22, 2020. California's new cases rose by a record and Florida infections jumped more than the weekly average, more signs of a possible resurgence of coronavirus in U.S. Sun Belt states. © Bloomberg People wearing protective masks wait to be seated at a restaurant on Pier 39 in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 22, 2020. California's new cases rose by a record and Florida infections jumped more than the weekly average, more signs of a possible resurgence of coronavirus in U.S. Sun Belt states.

California reported 5,019 new cases, its biggest daily jump, for a total of more than 183,000, according to state data. The state also hit a record 3,700 hospitalizations.

Arizona also broke its daily case record, adding nearly 3,600, according to tallies released Tuesday, bringing the total to 58,179. The state also reported 42 deaths, raising the toll to 1,384.

In Florida, local leaders hurried to react to daunting statistics. Palm Beach County -- where President Donald Trump makes his official residence -- became the latest jurisdiction to mandate masks to fend off the surge, with county commissioners voting unanimously to approve the measure Tuesday.

The state’s 103,506 cases were up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average 3.8% in the previous seven days. Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 23,397, the highest ever. Deaths reached 3,237, an increase of 2%, the most on a percentage basis since June 5.

Cumulative hospitalizations of Floridians rose by 199, or 1.5%, to 13,318. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,112, the highest level since May 25. The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 10.9% for Monday, from 7.7% on Sunday.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signaled this week that he may halt or reverse the state’s reopening, as the contagion continues to rage.

In Harris County -- home to Houston and the nation’s third-most-populous county -- intensive-case capacity will be exhausted in 11 days, based on the two-week average expansion rates. Surge beds will be full in 38 days, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office.

There are 1,488 Covid-19 patients in ICU beds across the county, leaving only 134 intensive-case beds available and another 326 surge beds in reserve.

Covid-19 transmission is also ticking up in New Jersey, Murphy said Tuesday, just as the state begins to open after months on lockdown.

The transmission rate -- which measures how many people a carrier infects -- was at .75 on June 18 and has now hit .81, state data show. Murphy said intensive-care cases and ventilator use were also on the rise.

The increases were for a single day, he said, but we “cannot have a one-day increase turn into a trend.”

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Gallery: If You Live Here, Coronavirus is Spreading at All-Time Highs (ETNT Health)

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